Tuesday, 4 August 2015

2015 Reading Goals - How I'm Doing So Far

Now, I'm pretty certain that at the start of the year I said I wasn't really going to set myself any challenges (I didn't set one on Goodreads for example). But after a month, I caved and posted this list of books I wanted to read to complete a reading challenge for the year.

I then promptly forgot all about it until just now. Oops.

So although it's way past the halfway point of the year (hello August, how did you get here???), I thought I'd just do a quick update on how I've done so far... Better late than never, eh? And who knows? Maybe I'll surprise myself.

1. A book with more than 500 pages: CHECK!

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

2. A classic romance

3. A book that became a movie: CHECK

I read The Color Purple, To Kill a Mockingbird, Dracula, and The Beach, all of which became movies! There are probably even more that I can't think of right now.

4. A book published this year

5. A book with a number in the title: CHECK

I literally just finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline about 5 minutes ago, so that's another challenge complete! Yay! Hopefully I'll get a review up soon :)

6. A book written by someone under 30

7. A book with non-human characters: CHECK

I finished The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke a couple of days ago and that has some characters that aren't human... So I'm gonna go with that!

8. A funny book: CHECK

Read (and loved) The Martian earlier in the year. Not exactly the same type of humour as the book in my original post, but still really funny!

9. A book by a female author: CHECK

Loads of them!

10. A mystery or thriller: CHECK

I forgot to mention in my July wrap-up (woops) that I read Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie, partly listening to it on audiobook in the car on the way to Norfolk, and partly via my own physical copy (which I flew through - I couldn't take the suspense!).

11. A book with a one word title: CHECK

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

12. A book with short stories

13. A book set in a different country: CHECK

I put Burial Rites by Hannah Kent as my original answer for this, but I could also have gone with Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

14. A non-fiction book

15. A popular author's first book: CHECK

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, which I LOVED and really need to get on and review!

16. A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet

17. A book a friend recommended: CHECK

The Beach by Alex Garland. 

18. A Pulitzer Prize winning novel: CHECK

Well, I haven't managed to read Gilead yet, but I did read The Color Purple and To Kill a Mockingbird, which I think have both won the Pulitzer Prize.

19. A book based on a true story

20. A book at the bottom of your TBR list

21. A book your mom loves: CHECK

I didn't get round to reading the one I put on the list originally, but I did read Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, which my mum adores!

22. A book that scares you

23. A book more than 100 years old: CHECK

Dracula by Bram Stoker. I also read some of the Penguin Little Black Classics that fall into this category.

24. A book based entirely on its cover

25. A book you were supposed to read in school and didn't

26. A memoir

27. A book with antonyms in the title

28. A book you can finish in a day: CHECK

I read The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster, which is super short, in one sitting (I think), and it completely blew my mind.

29. A book set somewhere you've always wanted to go

Does Mars count? ;)

30. A book published the year you were born

31. A book with bad reviews

32. A trilogy

33. A book from your childhood

34. A book with a love triangle

35. A book set in the future: CHECK

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

36. A book set in high school

37. A book with a colour in the title: CHECK

The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

38. A book that made you cry

39. A book with magic

40. A graphic novel: CHECK

41. A book by an author you've never read before: CHECK


42. A book you own but have never read: CHECK

Again, loads. I did read a lot of books I only bought this year, but I also read plenty that had been sitting on my shelf awhile.

43. A book that takes place in your hometown

44. A book that was originally written in another language: CHECK

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide.

45. A book set during Christmas

46. A book by an author with your initials

47. A play

48. A banned book

49. A book based on or turned into a TV show

I'm part of the way through A Clash of Kings so I'll probably count that here when I'm done with it.

50. A book you started but never finished

I'm coming for you Villette!

So there you go! If my counting is correct, I've completed:

21/50 challenges

Yay me! I'm definitely pleased with that :) I just hope I actually end up reading over 50 books this year (stupid exams). 

Are you guys doing any challenges? How's your reading going so far this year?

Saturday, 1 August 2015

July Wrap-Up 2015

Hi friends :) I've decided to try something new today! If you like it, let me know in the comments so I can do it more :D

What I wrote:

Here's a quick summary of the reviews I posted this month, in case you're curious about my thoughts! I'm still somewhat behind on my reviews and am sitting on a LOT of unfinished content... Oops! But never fear! It will all appear eventually :P Most of these books I actually read earlier in the year, but there we are:
I also wrote about my favourite books of 2015 so far, which was rendered slightly obsolete by my then immediately reading some more books that are definitely firm favourites now, and I also listed some hyped books I've never read.

What I read:

So July was quite a busy reading month at the beginning but kinda petered out towards the end. Something about being on holiday (which I was at the start of July) just speeds up my reading I guess. Before heading on holiday with my family, I re-read The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton, which was as crazy and beautifully written as I remembered it.

My holiday reading started out with To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (my first time reading it! Say whaaat!?) and The Color Purple by Alice Walker - I thoroughly enjoyed them both! Then I picked up the considerably more light-hearted but still really awesome Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, and The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Finally, just before heading home from my holiday, I started How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (though I'm still midway through that - I'm savouring it!).

Basically, my holiday reading was seriously awesome and all the books I picked up were 5-star books for sure (though, you may have noticed, I don't actually give star ratings).

Then I sorta fell into a weird reading mood, which initially started because I was so busy visiting friends and whatnot (which I was totally cool with), but continued to prevent me from concentrating on the books I was reading even after I stopped doing fun stuff (which I was very much less OK with). Hey ho.

So I only finished one other book this month, The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, which I only finished last night and I'm still processing my thoughts on.

What I watched:

Short answer: some, but not a lot. 

I'm trying not to get too much into the habit of watching shows as I'm moving next week to a house without a TV (and I can't afford, neither time- nor money-wise, to get Netflix). But I have gotten rather addicted to watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, which is the perfect combo of hilarious/philosophical/hardcore-awesome to make it a hit with me :)

I've also been watching lots of Come Dine With Me with my sister. Sibling bonding yo.

What I did:

Aside from going on holiday and seeing friends, I also GRADUATED!! Crazy times! I got to wear a gown and hood and everything (though no mortarboard... apparently my uni doesn't believe in hats!)

Since then I've just been pondering what on earth I want to do with my life (fun) and trying to look for jobs while I figure it out (double fun).

How was your month?
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